Simon Sinek, Portfolio Penguin, £15.99/£9.99 e-book
We all need a purpose, says Sinek – and his is to help others identify what matters to them, particularly in their working lives. It has proved a lucrative undertaking for the management guru, and one that began, appropriately enough, with 2011’s Start With Why, which urged readers to find the stories that drive them and their businesses.
As Sinek says: “If we want to feel an underlying passion for our work… to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our why.” It’s a concept that has propelled him to the top of the business bestseller lists and into the company of Marcus Buckingham and Jim Collins, whose easy lyrical style his work brings to mind. And in Find Your Why, he tells us exactly how to fix ourselves.
Identifying purpose, says Sinek, is like “panning for gold in the river of the past”. The process of getting there can be exhaustive, and he delves deep into the statements, suppositions and enquiries – whether between pairs or groups, formally or informally – that will yield discovery.
No stone is left unturned, and the resulting methodology, spanning almost 200 pages, is equally applicable as a learning experience or as part of a leadership development programme, all of it written in a warm and upbeat tone that has become his trademark.
Trainers, coaches – particularly those working with entrepreneurs – and leaders themselves will all get plenty from the book. But while it works as a companion to Sinek’s first work, it lacks the urgency of his popular TED talks and feels at times like a rambling, if highly passionate, self-help course that could probably be covered better in a YouTube video.
Ultimately, that won’t deter his army of fans – and if Find Your Why can help even one person locate their true passion, he’ll consider it a job well done.